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26192 COVID 19 NUCLEIC ACID TEST (NAT) PCR

COVID 19 NUCLEIC ACID TEST (NAT) PCR
Test Code: COV19
Synonyms/Keywords

​COVID 19 PCR, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus

Useful For

This is a qualitative PCR test for the detection of nucleic acid from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) from individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection by their healthcare provider. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and many have had complications including pneumonia in both lungs.

Please refer to the MCHS COVID-19 Testing Algorithm (Updated 04/22/20) for COVID-19 Testing Process details.    Clinicians are encouraged to use their judgment based on evolving epidemiology and guidance from CDC in combination with the above testing algorithm.  

NOTE: Confirmed and suspected COVID-19 disease is a Category 1 reportable condition in Wisconsin.

Specimen Requirements
Specimen TypePreferred Container/TubeAcceptable Container/TubeSpecimen VolumeSpecimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
​Nasopharyngeal swab​M6 multi-microbe transport medium​One nasopharyngeal swab ​One nasopharyngeal swab ​One nasopharyngeal swab
Collection Processing Instructions

​Collect one (1) nasopharyngeal swab (sterile polyester tipped swab with flexible wire shaft). Place in pink M6 multi-microbe transport medium, or other acceptable transport media, cutting off or folding wire into the tube (DO NOT wrap over lip of tube). Send  specimen in transport medium, and transport bio-bag.  Send to lab refrigerated.

Acceptable Specimen Types

​Nasopharyngeal swab 

Specimen Stability Information
Specimen TypeTemperatureTime
​Nasopharyngeal swab​refrigerate​<=72 hrs
​frozen​>72 hrs
Rejection Criteria
Specimens on cotton or calcium alginate tipped swabs
​Swabs with wooden shaft
​Specimens in transport media other than those listed above OR in a designated healthcare worker collection kit
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing LocationDay(s) Test PerformedAnalytical TimeMethodology/Instrumentation
​Marshfield​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
​Eau Claire​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Rice Lake​​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Wausau​​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Flambeau​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
​DTC​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Test Information

MCHS Laboratory Summary on Covid-19 Assay Sensitivity and Specificity

The current Corona virus PCR tests used at MCHS have been approved for use by regulatory authorities including the FDA and CDC.  These tests are highly specific (no false-positives) and are considered to be very sensitive, approaching 100%, during symptomatic disease when high titers of viral target are present, including directly before symptoms appear and following symptom resolution for several days.  Analytic sensitivity of our assays was determined to be <5 copies of viral genomic RNA per microliter of sample and the assay has been validated against a panel of specimens provided by the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene.  Appropriate collection technique is a critical variable for best test performance. 

While recent international publications have shown varying degrees of PCR assay sensitivity down to 70% or less, this occurred in high-throughput settings with early assay iterations under challenging laboratory conditions. Assays performed at MCHS use validated gene targets and reagents, strict quality control, and rigorous training by technologists.  Results generated are comparable to those produced by public health and academic laboratories nationally. Unfortunately, negative test results should be viewed cautiously given unknown characteristics of viral shedding; importantly, risk levels need to be assessed prior to testing, especially for people in higher-risk groups and in areas where widespread COVID-19 infection has been confirmed.

Reference Range Information
Performing LocationReference Range
​Marshfield

​Negative

Outreach CPTs
CPTModifier
(if needed)
QuantityDescriptionComments
​87635​1​Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])
Synonyms/Keywords

​COVID 19 PCR, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus

Ordering Applications
Ordering ApplicationDescription
If the ordering application you are looking for is not listed, contact your local laboratory for assistance.
Specimen Requirements
Specimen TypePreferred Container/TubeAcceptable Container/TubeSpecimen VolumeSpecimen Minimum Volume
(allows for 1 repeat)
Pediatric Minimum Volume
(no repeat)
​Nasopharyngeal swab​M6 multi-microbe transport medium​One nasopharyngeal swab ​One nasopharyngeal swab ​One nasopharyngeal swab
Collection Processing

​Collect one (1) nasopharyngeal swab (sterile polyester tipped swab with flexible wire shaft). Place in pink M6 multi-microbe transport medium, or other acceptable transport media, cutting off or folding wire into the tube (DO NOT wrap over lip of tube). Send  specimen in transport medium, and transport bio-bag.  Send to lab refrigerated.

Acceptable Specimen Types

​Nasopharyngeal swab 

Specimen Stability Information
Specimen TypeTemperatureTime
​Nasopharyngeal swab​refrigerate​<=72 hrs
​frozen​>72 hrs
Rejection Criteria
Specimens on cotton or calcium alginate tipped swabs
​Swabs with wooden shaft
​Specimens in transport media other than those listed above OR in a designated healthcare worker collection kit
Useful For

This is a qualitative PCR test for the detection of nucleic acid from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) from individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection by their healthcare provider. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and many have had complications including pneumonia in both lungs.

Please refer to the MCHS COVID-19 Testing Algorithm (Updated 04/22/20) for COVID-19 Testing Process details.    Clinicians are encouraged to use their judgment based on evolving epidemiology and guidance from CDC in combination with the above testing algorithm.  

NOTE: Confirmed and suspected COVID-19 disease is a Category 1 reportable condition in Wisconsin.

Reference Range Information
Performing LocationReference Range
​Marshfield

​Negative

For more information visit:
Performing Laboratory Information
Performing LocationDay(s) Test PerformedAnalytical TimeMethodology/Instrumentation
​Marshfield​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
​Eau Claire​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Rice Lake​​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Wausau​​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
Flambeau​​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
​DTC​Monday through Sunday​3 hrs​Nucleic Acid Test (NAT); Real-Time RT-PCR
For billing questions, see Contacts
Outreach CPTs
CPTModifier
(if needed)
QuantityDescriptionComments
​87635​1​Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])
For most current information refer to the Marshfield Laboratory online reference manual.